Armed with an ability to connect with people, understand their needs and fulfill them, Cynthia Ellen Wein Lett has exactly what it takes to succeed as a professional speaker association executive. She has always liked working with people, and, in pursuit of her interests, earned a Bachelor of Science in restaurant, hotel, and institutional management and public relations from Purdue University in Indiana in 1979 and a master’s degree in legal studies from the Antioch School of Law in Washington, D.C., in 1983. She also obtained a certificate in adult learning techniques from George Washington University.
Now a world-renowned expert in business and social etiquette, diplomatic and social protocol, and executive communications skills, Ms. Lett has served as the principal owner of The Lett Group since 1983. The company specializes in training executives, professionals, and would-be rainmakers in the critical skills of business etiquette, manners, dining skills, personal marketing, and using international protocol. In a further extension of her skills, Ms. Lett continues to head Creative Planning International, a consulting firm specializing in producing meetings and events for corporations and associations nationwide. She has led the business as the president and founder since 1983.
Looking to expand her reach, Ms. Lett is also a seminar speaker and coach around the world, offering private and corporate consultation at seminars on the power skills necessary to compete on the international business scene. Her clients include major universities, international associations, and Fortune 500 companies. Ms. Lett is particularly proud of the fact that she has planned more than 2,400 meetings for corporations and associations nationwide in 102 countries. She has been featured and quoted in publications like “The Age of Education,” “The Harvard Business Review,” “Corporate Gift-Giving 101,” and “Meetings and Conventions,” as well as the Training and Development Journal and Entrepreneur Magazine.
Prior to her current endeavors, Ms. Lett garnered experience in positions like market researcher of the Sheraton, sales manager of the Sea Pines Plantation Co., and director of sales of both the Ritz Carlton Hotel and the Sheraton Potomac Hotel. She also served as the director of meeting services for the American Healthcare Institute, the chief of protocol and manager of corporate events and meetings for MCI Communications Corporation, and the director of Great Inns of America. Notably, she used her background to author books like “That’s So Annoying: An Etiquette Expert on the World’s Most Irritating Habits and What to Do about Them,” and “Getaway Innstyle: America’s 50 Best Inns.” She was the editor of the “Travel Inn Style Newsletter” from 1990 to 1991, and is the present editor of “Apropos!”
To keep up with developments in her community, Ms. Lett is an active member of the American Society for Training and Development, the National Speakers Association, the Professional Convention Management Association, and the Washington Convention Visitors Association. In 2002, she joined the International Society of Protocol and Etiquette Professionals as the executive director, and she continues in that role today. Ms. Lett is also an advocate for people with autism and organizations that help bring awareness to the autism spectrum. The Lett Group has a program called “First Impressions Count,” which provides young autistic adults with communications skills in order to make a good impression and to connect with people.
In recognition of her accomplishments and achievements, Ms. Lett has been listed in Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who of Advertising Executives, Who’s Who in Media and Communications, Who’s Who of Emerging Leaders of America, and in numerous editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World.